The Mi 5, which resembles last year’s Mi Note, sports a curved glass back with a metal frame.
It has a 5.15in screen – a rather odd size – but that’s because the display goes almost all the way to the sides to give it a bezel-less look which is stunning.
It’s full HD and while it can’t compare to a 2K display, the colour and contrast make it one of the better screens.
It’s also 30% brighter than its predecessor, which makes the Sunlight Display feature for viewing the screen under bright sunlight even better.
The smartphone runs on a Snapdragon 820 processor and uses Universal Flash Storage 2.0 for storage, which the company claims is faster than eMMC used by other brands.
It had no trouble handling games such as Need for Speed: Most Wanted, This War Of Mine and The Banner Saga.
However, the phone heats up under heavy usage but not to the point that it’s unbearable.
It doesn’t fare so well in the audio department though – we found it to be sub-standard for a variety of music and videos.
The camera is 16 megapixels and is one of the better ones on a Xiaomi smartphone – images turned out sharp with good colour reproduction.
While most flagship models come with OIS (optical image stabilisation) for eliminating shaky shots, Xiaomi claims its version is better as it can detect movement from four axes. In our tests, it proved to be really good.
The MiUI 7 user interface (UI) is not only pretty but has a few handy features. Mi Cloud, for instance, allows you to sync your contacts, photos and messages with other Xiaomi devices.
It also allows you to keep your files such as photos and videos in a folder that is locked with a password. But that’s not all – it also lets you lock access to any app with a password.
One other cool feature is the support for Voice over LTE which offers high quality voice calls compared to conventional cellular calls.
Despite only having a 3,000mAh battery, the Mi 5 can easily last a day when used for social media and casual gaming.
With the built-in quick charging technology, you can charge it up to 100% in 1.5 hours. The Mi 5 is one of the first Xiaomi smartphones to feature the reversible USB Type C connector for charging and syncing.
The Mi 5 is one of the cheapest flagship smartphones on the market yet it has a lot of features to boast of.
It has a nice design, good camera, fingerprint sensor, NFC (near-field communication) and long battery life.
If you are looking for an affordable flagship device, the Mi 5 is definitely worth a look.
Pros: Nice design; pretty screen; good camera with great OIS; no performance issues.
Cons: Heats up under heavy usage; poor audio quality.
Mi 5 (Xiaomi)
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 6.0
DISPLAY: 5.15in IPS display (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)
CAMERA: 16-megapixel rear camera with OIS; 4-megapixel front camera
CONNECTIVITY: 4G with VoLTE
PROCESSOR: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (dual core 1.8GHz + dual-core 1.36GHz)
MEMORY: 32GB internal memory
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 69.2 x 7.3 x 144.6mm
RATING: Four stars
Review unit courtesy of Xiaomi Malaysia